Psystar Exposed: Looks Like a Hoax

After the Guardian did their own investigation into the Mac clone maker Psystar yesterday, we decided to take it a step further and see if they actually exist, in the physical sense. How could a company so brazenly challenge Apple and have little to no record of actually being a company? We sent the Gizmodo army down there to get pictures of both their supposed addresses, and found that they're as much vapourware as the Phantom Console of yore. Read on for the details and location pictures.

First, let's revisit what we already know. Not only does the Miami Chamber of Commerce and BBB not know anything about any company named Psystar (confirmed by reader Travis through his contacts in the chamber), the actual physical address they listed on their website actually changed halfway through the day yesterday. What's going on here? Did they all of a sudden move from a home business into a new office space? Nope. Here's the deal.

Reader Michael went down to their first location, address courtesy of the Guardian's quick fingers, and saw that it was indeed a residential address. It's a one story house with a truck and sedan out front. Not a business, but still holds the possibility of being a small home business. Still, unlikely. Why would they change their address? Perhaps they saw all the reaction they were getting about their Open Mac products and wanted a bigger space?

Psystar HousePsystar HousePsystar House

Nope. Reader Kahri visited their second location and saw no Psystar, but a packing supply company called "USA KOEN PACK." Was Psystar leasing the place? No. He spoke with the manager, and they've never heard of Psystar, and USA KOEN PACK has been at that location for the last two years. KOEN PACK actually takes up from 10481 to 10490, so there's no chance of it being a mistaken address. Update: Looks like Psystar's changed their address once again to 10471.

PsystarPsystarPsystar

Now that we know their storefront isn't actually there, how about their online presence? As other readers pointed out when they tried to purchase an Open Mac for themselves, at no point was the credit card transaction secure. Today, when you visit their store page, you get this:

Thank you for visiting Psystar. We're sorry but the store is temporarily down due to the fact that we are currently unable to process any credit card transactions. Please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the subject line "UPDATE" so that we can update you when the store comes back online. For customers who have already placed orders: if you received a confirmation e-mail then your item is in queue to be built and shipped.

Here's our recommendation. Don't buy anything from Psystar now until we can clear this up. We've contacted them for more information and a review unit to see if everything they're claiming is real. So far, no response. We'll keep at it, but for now if you're looking to get a Mac clone, you're better off building it yourself.

Thanks to Kahri, Mike and Travis!

Update: Reader Robert did some more digging in the Florida Corporate filing office, and it seems that Psystar's principles are Rodolfo and Roberto Pedraza, who are officers or agents on a whole crapload of companies. Only one of these companies besides Psystar is currently active: Floridatek. As Robert says, "These guys are obviously clowns."

psystarcorp.png

Update 2: Someone just brought up the point that he could actually work at USA KOEN PACK and is just using his workplace as an address. Interesting possibility, but somewhat unlikely.

Update 3: Ha! It looks like Psystar changed their address again. Here are their first two: image. Their third one is below.

psystaraddress3.png